We focus a lot on software at Hack Club. It’s soft, after all. This summer we left our comfort zone. Global pandemic—generally a bad start to summer—left us with $50k of unused grant money from GitHub. We thought about saving it. Instead we gave it away to students as a kind of fun experiment: distributing hardware to teenage makers with cool project ideas. One thing we liked about hardware grants was that bits—however magical—are ultimately constrained by atoms. It seemed right to connect over building physical things during a summer when personal connections relied on the internet more than ever.
Ellen Xu, a 15-year-old from San Diego, made a machine learning algorithm to run on a Raspberry Pi to help people diagnose Kawasaki disease, the #1 heart disease in children in the U.S. & Japan.
As part of Summer of Making we built Scrapbook. The idea: share updates of what you’re working on every day. So as Hack Clubbers are learning & building projects, short video or photo updates go into a Slack channel. Through a Slack bot, an Airtable, & a Next.js website making everything browsable, we made a site full of amazing things built this summer.
Thanks to COVID-19, this summer was like no other with so many teenagers stuck at home. From treasure hunts to late night Zoom hangouts to a mini hackathon, the community was filled with fun events. Alongside events, the Slack served as a global makerspace (open 24/7) where hackers could hang out.Join the Slack →